Book Review

ARC Book Review: Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Amelia Diane Coombs
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 22nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen, this swoon-worthy novel follows a teen girl during her California summer of beekeeping, secrets, and stolen kisses.

Josie Hazeldine has just graduated from high school, and she’s ready for a summer full of sunshine, beekeeping, and…lying to her mom.

Josie’s mom couldn’t be more proud of her daughter going to college, something she never got to do. But Josie wants to stay in her California hometown and take over the family business, Hazeldine Honey. So that college acceptance her mom is thrilled about? Yeah, Josie turned it down. But she’s going to come clean—just not yet.

The neighbor’s artsy, adorable grandson who’s in town for the summer makes Josie’s web of lies even more tangled. He’s into Josie and the feeling is very mutual, but he’s a Blumstein—the sworn enemy of the Hazeldines and their number one competition in the annual Honey Show at the end of July. As their secret fling goes on, Josie knows she’s getting in way too deep to leave him behind when summer’s over.

Can Josie keep the boy she can’t stop thinking about without the secrets she’s juggling crashing down around her?

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

IT WAS CUTE.

I feel like what I got most out of this was a lot of honeybee knowledge. Which I’m not complaining about at all because I really loved that aspect. I love when contemporaries have a new to me vibe and this one did with all of the apiary facts I learned.

Onto the romance side of things, it’s a quick/insta-ish romance. I didn’t find myself upset with that though (and usually I am). It was rooted in a summer style relationship and I liked how things flowed between Ezra and Joie. They were pretty dang cute and all of the honest and meaningful conversations between them was a really nice point.

Josie working through and with her anxiety hit home a lot for me. I loved this mental health rep and how it was portrayed. The addition of complex friendship was great too. While it made me irrationally angry, it went down exactly like I hoped. A lot of growth for Josie and committing to her passion and owning her truth by finally telling others. I love that she left people go and found her niche.

The story moved well. At times faster than I loved, and at times, slower than I loved. Yet I didn’t have a hard time picking this up to continue. I wanted to see where these characters were going and am grateful that they did indeed, go places! I love the pursuit of dreams with a long lasting summer romance to boot.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses and brief open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: anxiety, panic attacks, a loved one with Parkinson’s disease

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: March 2020

Another month in the year finished!

I had a streak of four, five star books in a row and absolutely loved it.

Favorite this month: The Heiress Gets a Duke, THE SPANISH LOVE DECEPTION (GO READ IT PLEASE), Legendborn, Better Than the Movies, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, Glimpsed, The Songbook of Benny Lament, The Mask Falling, and People We Meet on Vacation
(like I said, many many good ones!!)

Least favorites: Sovereign Sacrifice, Home is Where You Are

  • Manor for Sale, Baron Included by Esther Hatch – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan – (☆☆☆☆)
  • On Thin Icing (A Bakeshop Mystery #3) by Ellie Alexander – (☆☆☆)
  • Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson – (☆☆☆☆)
  • 11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba (The Cuba Saga #4) by Chanel Cleeton – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Red Tigress (Blood Heir Trilogy #2) by Amelie Wen Zhao – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Heiress Gets a Duke (The Gilded Age Heiresses #1) by Harper St.George – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] It’s Just Business (The Wedding Business #2) by Summer Dowell – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra Calre – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • A Hand Me Down Heart (Texas General Cases of Romance #1) by Becki Willis – (☆☆☆)
  • The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Legendborn (Legendborn #1) by Tracy Deonn – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Namesake (Fable #2) by Adrienne Young – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Sovereign Sacrifice (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #4) by Elise Kova – (☆☆☆)
  • Blood Sworn (Ashlords #2) by Scott Reingten – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Glimpsed by G.F. Miller – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) by Samantha Shannon – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1) by Joana Hathaway – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Home is Where You Are by Melissa Grace – (☆☆)
  • [ARC] People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Novella] How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories (The Folk of the Air #3.5) by Holly Black – (☆☆☆☆)

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Book Review

Book Review: My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies #3) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult paranormal historical fiction
Length: 516 pages
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 2nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome ​to 1876 and a rootin’-tootin’ America bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou.

JANE (a genuine hero-eene)
Calamity’s her name, and garou hunting’s her game—when she’s not starring in Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, that is. She reckons that if a girl wants to be a legend, she should just go ahead and be one.

FRANK (*wolf whistle*)
Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler is the Wild West’s #1 bachelor. He’s also the best sharpshooter on both sides of the Mississippi, but he’s about to meet his match. . . .

ANNIE (get your gun!)
Annie Oakley (yep, that Annie) is lookin’ for a job, not a romance, but she can’t deny there’s something about Frank she likes. Really likes. Still, she’s pretty sure that anything he can do,
she can do better.

A HAIRY SITUATION
After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s been talk of a garou cure. But things ain’t always what they seem—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short.

STRONG START.

Eh ending.

I’ve really enjoyed this book series. I found them easy to laugh along with, the side quips from the narrators were charming, and the characters were fun. The whole comedy concept of it is what made me read My Lady Jane when it first came out and continue on. I feel like they’ve kinda fallen from there though.

MCJ started off great. I was into the story, was cool with the paranormal “twist” and wondered where the story would go. I thought everyone was easy to love and liked the found family aspects of the show.

What didn’t mix was that I felt this was focused a lot more on Annie than Jane. Jane was there, often, of course, but she didn’t really get a massive story line like the other Janies. The focus was around Annie and Frank and their very much insta-love, love story. Cute at times, annoying at others is how my thoughts ranged reading this.

I found it continually harder to pick this book up to read and ended up skim-reading the last half. I think if it had been a bit shorter, not filled with random, out-of-place, political comments and had more focus on Jane, her love story, and what she was dealing with, I could have enjoyed it more.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult paranormal historical fiction
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: guns, murder, animal attacks, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Release Date: July 9th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

CUTE PREMISE.

Here I am again, slowly working my way through Kasie West books. Looking for something ti compare to P.S. I Like You because that book is just a gem. This was cute, but I had the same struggles I’ve seen before.

I loved the idea of this book. Going through different events as the same characters connected over and over again. It flowed well and when it jumped to the next event it still felt continuous. The addition of all the floral aspects was gorgeous. I’m obsessed with flowers so I definitely didn’t mind. Comparing the flowers to the event was a fun quirk at the beginning of each section.

I didn’t love the main character, Sophie. I found her annoying, abrasive, a bit rude, and while yes, she definitely got better, I had already signed off on her in my mind. I don’t need a perfect character it would just have flowed better if she hadn’t bothered me the entire book. I thought her love interest Andrew was cute. They got off on the wrong foot and found their way back to companionship. Nice little happily ever after that I’m always a fan of.

The general adorable-ness usually present felt forced with this cast. I had a hard time convincing myself that I cared for anyone in particular. I feel these books are either a big hit or a big miss.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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